Today, more and more companies are looking for working and managing a virtual team as this approach has a lot of strong points. How to manage the remote team effectively? I will tell you in this post.
1. Encourage communication between employees in every way possible
In a traditional office, spontaneous communication is a very common thing that many people don’t notice and, therefore, don’t appreciate. However, team leaders working remotely should pay special attention to the communication of employees. This is very important for successful work!
2. Be more responsive – collect feedback about your work
The members of remote teams should pay special attention to the regular feedback on the quality of work. The best way to help your teamwork at peak performance is to provide regular feedback and assessment of the quality of management performance too. And this is especially important for mixed teams, where people work both in the traditional office and in the virtual one. It’s best to try to get the same amount of feedback from both internal and remote employees.
3. Maintain a balance of teams
How to avoid the “us and them” confrontation? There should be no difference in the evaluation of the work of remote and office employees. Real professionals do not think that working in a virtual office is something extraordinary. Therefore, there should be no specifics in the workflow of a virtual office compared to the traditional one. The remote nature of the work is just a minor feature of this or that employee. It is necessary to focus on a constant and stable assessment of employees’ performance based on their actual performance – and discuss this openly with the whole team.
4. Create a reliable management structure
Develop a flexible methodology for measuring results. It is good for measuring the quality of the final product and teamwork. Evaluating employees regularly makes it easy to identify areas of poor performance. If there is no regular evaluation system, it is easier for a careless employee to avoid the manager. Therefore, it is better to choose a more rigorous and evaluative management style.
5. Don’t be afraid of failures
You are likely to have more problems with remote managers than with office workers. Usually, managers expect less from their supervisors and less likely report about the problems to them. However, managers need to be confident that they have the right to make a mistake, and know how to recognize the precursors of an impending failure, as well as the ability to resolve the situation.
6. Inspire employees to provide feedback
If part of your team works in a regular office, inspire your remote employees to set up a regular feedback channel. Remote workers are a better indicator of how a team works as a whole because they tend to express themselves more openly than office workers. Most feedback channels and evaluation systems run from the bottom up (from subordinates to supervisors) instead of the opposite direction. Having a downstream channel is as important as having an upstream channel. Smart leaders know that their team members can help them to become better, but they will also gain useful knowledge and skills themselves.
7. Treat all staff equally, no matter where they are
If you only have a part of your team working remotely, do not treat these employees as lower rank employees. Always keep to the same rules of communication, which imply the same speed of response to appeals, equal authority, and importance of opinions, collegial decision-making with the participation of all team members, including “remote” employees.
8. Prevent problems with teamwork
If there are problems in the relationship between employees, it is less noticeable when the work is remote. People can avoid each other in virtual space, communicating only when strictly necessary. Therefore, it is vital to create an environment that prevents such problems. In a remote team, it is more difficult to create a team spirit, more difficult to achieve a sense of intuitive understanding between employees. Always keep this nuance of remote work in mind.
9. Make motivation individual
Everyone on your team – regardless of the nature of their work – should be motivated in their way. Someone is more praiseworthy, others may start working worse if they are not praised all the time. Consider the efforts that each team member makes to create the final product. Remember that remote work is much more appreciated for its instantaneous response to the results than its regular evaluation at regular intervals. When feedback is provided immediately after a task has been completed, your subordinates have a better understanding of what their performance evaluation depends on and will try to maintain (or change) their performance level.
10. Be on time to promote your employee
It’s good when people are happy with their work and don’t want to change anything. Some people don’t have career plans, and that’s okay. As a manager, you need to build a system in which good quality work is rewarded regardless of the position of a specialist. You need to understand the needs of each employee and know who and when is ready for the new level of responsibility.
Dear managers, what else can you say about working with remote workers? How different are the management processes compared to the traditional office? Share your knowledge, I will be glad to publish it in future materials of the blog!